Major Companies Pull Ads from YouTube in Response to Pedo Problem

Epic Games pulls Fortnite YouTube ads over child predator concerns
Epic halts Fortnite ads on YouTube after outbreak of videos exploiting children

22 February, 2019

A Nestle spokeswoman said the food maker had made a decision to "pause" YouTube advertising globally while the issue was investigated.

YouTube is losing advertising from Fortnite maker Epic Games, Disney, and other companies because of ads appearing alongside videos shared by pedophiles.

It was recently revealed in a video by YouTube user Matt Watson that certain videos on the platform were possibly being targeted by pedophilic rings.

The videos pedophiles targeted apparently did not violate the company's rules, but the content became overrun with lewd remarks directed at the children, many of them young girls doing gymnastics or playing Twister, the report notes. What is problematic about this situation, therefore, is the fact that paedophiles are known to swarm the comment sections of such videos, leaving sexually suggestive comments about some parts of the video that could be compromising when paused.

A Nestle spokesperson told CNBC, "All Nestle companies in the US have paused advertising on YouTube".

"There's more to be done, and we continue to work to improve and catch abuse more quickly", YouTube said in a statement.

YouTube has terminated more than 400 channels on the video-sharing service for hosting comments from child predators.

It has also disabled comments on tens of millions of videos that include minors.

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The move comes just one month after the US wireless carrier announced it would resume buying advertising on YouTube, after a almost two-year boycott of the platform. Pre-roll ads are the advertisements which play before a video starts.

Total ad spending on the videos mentioned was less than $8,000 (U.S.) within the last 60 days, and YouTube plans refunds, the spokeswoman said.

All Nestle companies have pulled their ads from YouTube, CNN reports.

Watson said that some of the YouTube videos feature ads for big-name companies, including Disney.

YouTube did not immediately respond to Mashable's request for comment.

YouTube has faced advertiser boycotts in the past, including a widespread boycott in early 2017.

What next?: Dr. Oetker is asking YouTube "to explain how it could happen that advertising of our company was placed in an environment that we strictly reject and consider highly reprehensible ethically", according to a statement provided to CNN.

YouTube also said it removed dozens of videos that were posted without malicious intent but were nonetheless putting children at risk.

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